One of these days, I am going to do reviews of all the works that received any sort of recognition for the Darrell Awards – be it honorable mention, semifinalist, finalist, first runner-up or winner. When that day rolls around, I will have my thoughts on All the Paths of Shadow by Frank Tuttle to use as a yardstick when measuring the quality of the other books.
What am I saying?
Just this: you know you have found a truly well-written story when you start reading it and are hooked so quickly that your legs fall asleep before you stand up, then you simply can not put it down even to go to sleep, even when your eyes are closing of their own accord, even to work on paying assignments with deadlines.
You know you have found a superb work when you are about 2/3s of the way through it and are already sad that it will be ending soon, as you want to linger in the world it portrays much longer than that.
Those who complain about long fantasy novels just do NOT understand — a master wordsmith such as Frank Tuttle can weave a story so well that anything shorter than a door-stopper in length just causes withdrawal pain way too soon.
My only serious complaint about All The Paths of Shadow is that I will be finished reading it soon and I will be very sad to leave this world behind.
If the Darrell Awards accomplish nothing else, the fact that they brought me into contact with the works of Frank Tuttle have made all the years I have devoted to them worthwhile.
And, no, that does not mean this book will win the 2012 Best Novel Award. That is a matter for the Jury, I am only one member on it, and I must state that we have a crop of worthy contenders this year, with Nominations still open until 1-1-2012.
Please see our website at http://darrellawards.org for the Nomination Form.